mmw3lecture8 - MMW 3 April 26, 2007 Week Four Outline...

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MMW 3 April 26, 2007 Week Four Outline Lecture Eight—The Abbasid Empire and the Crisis of Sectarianism Key Focus of Last Lecture 1) Factors contributing to rapid expansion of Islamic empire 2) Social inequality and seeds of discontent within the Umma Key Questions Today: 1) Was Islam constantly at odds with itself in its constant struggle to reconcile its radical egalitarian impulse with its worldly ambition as an imperial power? 2) How did that struggle express itself during the 8th through 11th centuries? I) From Arab Kingdom to Islamic Empire a) Umayyad Caliphate primarily an arab institution, rule and decisions were based on tribal consensus. The old way of getting elders together were governed in this mamner. The Umayyad can be associated with a social hierarchy that was based on arab tribal lineage. The closer you were to these arab tribes, the higher you were in society. This was a problem for new converts in the faith. Economic distribution of wealth that generally favored the arabs. b) Shi’ite Challenge from the East i) The role of propaganda and instigators (1) Abu Muslim, a Mawla from Iraq. Mawla presented the majority. Didn’t have as many privileges in the empire. Abu Muslim, expert at spreading discontent of the Mawla people. Spread from the east to the west. There was much antipathy towards the Umayyads. By the mid-8 th centry, this movement because so strong and inspired by shi’at sect that the umayyads topple/. (2) Mawalis and marginalized Arabs in Khurasan in Iran (3) The “black banners” of the Abbasids c) Who were the Abbasids? i) Descent from Muhammad’s uncle, al-Abbas. claimed that they were descended from Muhammad’s uncle, therefore Abbasid claims that through this justification, he deserves to rule. Modern day iran and iraq-powerbase. Shi’at factions supported him. Executed Abu Muslim very shortly after 750. it symbolizes that the abbasid’s intended to rule the broader spectrum of the people “stepping into the mainstream.” This was typical in history for a group of people to conquer on the fringes of a society and work towards the center or mainstream. (1) Execution of Abu Muslim- claimed that they were descended from Muhammad’s
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mmw3lecture8 - MMW 3 April 26, 2007 Week Four Outline...

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